Problem Solving and Programming
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John M. Zelle
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I am a Computer Science and Data Science student in my last year. I can teach any units in the two m...
Pretty great teacher, good python starting point. The project is a little boring but easy enough.
Anonymous, Semester 2, 2017
It is so sad that such an interesting subject is butchered by extremely poor planning for the course structure and ridiculous expectations for newcomers. First of all, the mis-semester exam was rather illogical, the point of code is to make it efficient and understandable and I don't understand why we would ever need to try to understand confusing code within a time limit. The projects were ridiculously hard for a beginner to do, and so were the directions. The wording of the project was so confusing and Michael couldn't explain it too well unfortunately, There were also no other people to help you in this subject besides in the lab tutors, and they don't help you too much in there. Usually if you attend all the lectures, you should have learnt enough to do the assignments in the unit, but not for this unit, the projects were miles ahead of the labs. The labs, from the second week onwards were very hard - this is for people who have had zero experience in programming. We weren't taught how to do the hard questions yet we were expected to know how to do them. The lecture questions were the most basic theory, the labs were miles ahead of the lectures. Poor course structure. The underlying problem with this course is that it is catered for the people who have had a lot of experience already in programming. This is frustrating because it is supposed to be a beginners course. There are probably 2 extremes in the course when you look at the distribution of marks - people who get 100% because they have experience and people who get 30% as they have no idea what to do and weren't taught. Michael Wise, although he has good intentions, is not the best teacher for beginners. This review is only from a beginner's point of view, I can see how this course would be very easy for experienced programmers but it is 100% not for beginners. If you're not looking fro a high GPA, go for it and try your best. I still don't want to discourage people from doing this couse though, as it is a good subject. My advice would be this for a beginner: I definitely recommend you to start reading and doing the exercises in the textbook 'python programming zelle..' There are answers for the exercises online, download them and start doing them as early as possible. The lectures won't really help you out, nor will the lab questions unless you know the basics. As for the projects, as soon as you learn the basics, start the projects, ask your lab tutors all the questions you have, if you don't like your lab tutor, attend a different one, it will probably be hard to find a good one to be honest, some of them don't even know python well....
Anonymous, Semester 1, 2018
This course caused me great grief. If you had previous experience with Python programming, then this course may turn out to be easy for you. But unfortunately this was my first introduction to programming, and I can thoroughly say that the projects were tough, the test was hard and only the exam was doable to an extent. I think you should attend every lab session and go through all the lecture slides. But honestly what was the most significant help was the textbook. I swear I learnt more from one week of looking at the textbook than the lecturer. Do those programming exercises. This is just advice from a newbie programmer like me. I genuinely hope this course is enjoyable for you.